‘We certainly don’t welcome offers for him’ – Town chief O’Neill on Palace bids for Downes
Ipswich Town’s general manager of football operations, Lee O’Neill, has confirmed that the club have rejected two bids for star midfielder Flynn Downes.
The EADT and Ipswich Star revealed last week that the Blues had knocked back a second bid from Premier League club Crystal Palace for the 21-year-old – believed to be in the region of £2m.
And this morning it was reported by The Athletic that the homegrown youngster, who has also been linked to the likes of West Ham, Arsenal and Fulham, has put in a transfer request.
“We have received two bids for Flynn over the last week or two but they are nowhere near the club’s valuation,” said O’Neill.
“Marcus (Evans, club owner] rejected them straightaway and he has spoken personally to Flynn to make him aware of the club’s position.
“Every player strives to play at the highest level and Flynn is no different. We fully understand why a move to the Premier League would appeal to him but until the club receives an offer that meets our valuation there is no decision to make.
“We want to keep Flynn here because he is seen as a key part of our plans. We certainly don’t welcome offers for him but we have to be realistic and accept that the good, young players we have here are going to attract interest. That doesn’t mean we have to sell them and the owner has proved that.
“Flynn understands the situation and is just getting on with his football. He’s been here 10 years, come through the academy and is now a first-team regular and, in all that time, he has been fully committed to the club.
“While he’s here, it will always be that way because that’s the sort of person he is.”
Speaking in an interview with BBC Suffolk last week, Downes was asked if he thought he’d still be an Ipswich player by the time the domestic transfer window shuts on October 11.
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He said: “Yeah, hopefully. We’ll see. You can never say for sure, but hopefully I will be. I’ve heard little bits and bobs, but I’m just focusing on the football. That’s all I can say really. Everything will be taken care of.”